Electric Classics: Opel Manta GSE – Electric Rebirth

Electric Classics: Opel Manta GSE - Electric Rebirth

Electric classics
Opel Manta GSE – Electric Rebirth

Once again, Opel is reflecting its long history and thus building a bridge in the electrical era. To do this, engineers introduced an electric motor and related technology from 1973 to an original manta. If it had been up to Opel, there would have been a modern e-version of Manta as well.

The lonely emptiness in the spacious hall on the first floor of an abandoned car factory in Russelsheim. The scene, in which Opel models once shut down the production line every minute, now looks like a showdown of the action thriller genre Netflix series. If a peaceful car was not parked right in the middle of it, then about 4.35 meters long and 1.36 meters flat. Middle-aged German citizens of the West can immediately recognize the shiny yellow coupe as Opel Manta. East German compatriots have a hard time, after all, the Cult Car was discontinued a year before the Berlin Wall fell.

With Manta GSe, Opal is practicing balancing time.

(Photo: Opal)

Now the film star (“Manta, Manta”) is dug back to life. An electrified manta meets the melancholy emission-free current. A new member of the current Opel family or just a marketing gag? “Nor,” says Quentin Huber, who is responsible for the Opel brand strategy. “The” Manta GSE Electromod “project is more than a new business idea. It is about preserving the original charm and at the same time utilizing top innovations such as the latest LED technology, fully digital cockpits and battery-electric drives. “

A balancing act between times

A closer look at the brand new classic car reveals the balancing act. The original body remained almost untouched. In 1973, the then 50-year-old Hertha M of Wiesbaden bought Manta A and ran it for eleven years. Then he gave his fine piece to the classic department of Opel, from where it did not find its way into the museum with others of its kind, but has been kept. Due to its good condition, the two-door car was chosen by the project team to start its new life as a restomode for heart transplant.

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In direct comparison, the difference between Manta GSE and its origin can be clearly seen.

(Photo: Opal)

The term stands for “restore” and “amend”, which is a very popular trend. Because others already had this idea. Examples are the electrified Jaguar E-Type, a convertible Beetle with an electric motor, the manufacturer of which produced the E-Classic was officially supported by Volkswagen. Trabant, Mini Moke and Citroën Duck have already been adapted. Usually by small companies at the request of the classic car owner.

Mark of E in place of H in future?

In a very professional way, Opel can now open up new business zones and appease countless “Opelons”. There is a lot of potential. At the end of 2020, 1092 Manta Rays were still officially registered, with 20,000 cadets still on the way. Ascona or Rekord or Omega also receive the same numbers. Even big ships like the Opel Kapitan, Admiral or Diplomat have classic car meetings. The kit that turns the Manta into a Stromer can replace the H license plate with an “E” on other Opel models.


The old cockpit has been replaced with a digital touchscreen with analog devices in the Manta GSe.

(Photo: Opal)

Of course, the Manta showpiece, now celebrating its premiere, shines from the new Stellantis Group’s engine rack topped with an electric motor, which Opel also relates. The Hertha M’s original still had a modest 1.6-liter gasoline engine with 80 hp under the hood, which now stands at 147 hp. This means that Stromer also supersedes the GT / E sports version of the Classic, which in 1975 sent a manageable 105 hp to the rear wheels. The power of the new aged to draw 255 newton meters is also unmatched for the ancestors. Its lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 31 kWh is enough for a good 200 km. Like the modern Mokka-E, the recently introduced electric SUV, the Manta can also recover energy during braking, so it is state-of-the-art.

Heart implantation is only part of the fine work done by the design team around Pierre-Olivier Garcia. “We were also interested in a mix of zygatists then and now,” says Opel’s chief designer, and invites you to go on tour. While the original from the double headlights was seen in the seventies, the ElektroMOD electric bears the contemporary face of the Opel Mokka, adding LED day-time running lights, headlights and the Opel logo into one element. Small Gag: If TUV allows this, messages or greetings can be sent to the outside world in white digital font on a black background. The bonnet is also pitch black.

There is also a manta logo


The rear lights of the Manta GSE are also an idea of ​​origin.

(Photo: Opal)

Like the Classic, the round rear light is a genuine effortless look. If you look closely, you will discover the characteristic Manta logo on the front side of the crack in the door, which detects the silhouette of the flat sea creature and also serves as a QR code. It has a link with which passers of a steep manta can call all the information. Except the driver’s cell phone number, of course. With upcycling, as it is called “making old to new”, the designers abandoned the cockpit, which now seems very ancient. It has been replaced by a combination of two widescreen displays (12 or 10 inches), which, in addition to the standard display, also reveal the battery and range of charge conditions.

Will Elektro-Manta remain one-time or at least have the factory conversion kit get a chance? Opel boss Michael Lohscheller is happy with the many positive reactions following the publication of the first photos of the icon’s electrical rebirth, but does not want to commit to his future. The in-house Euro-Foxers of parent company PSA in Paris have to go to the retreat first. Opel has not named any possible prices for the electrification of well-preserved classic cars like the Manta. Depending on the customer’s attention to detail, however, there must be a mid-range of at least five digits on the invoice.

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